Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What really happens when you go all-renewable?

A physicist calculates the costs of switching to electricity powered by renewables. Few people are actually "doing the math" as he does. Scientists have been heroic fighting against the denier/delayers. Now we need them to run the numbers on the "solutions."

A Nation-Sized Battery | Do the Math: "What about cost? At today’s price for lead, $2.50/kg, the national battery would cost $13 trillion in lead alone, and perhaps double this to fashion the raw materials into a battery (today’s deep cycle batteries retail for four times the cost of the lead within them). But I guarantee that if we really want to use more lead than we presently estimate to exist in deposits, we’re not dealing with today’s prices. Leaving this caveat aside, the na├»ve $25 trillion price tag is more than the annual U.S. GDP. Recall that lead-acid is currently the cheapest battery technology. Even if we sacrificed 5% of our GDP to build this battery (would be viewed as a huge sacrifice; nearly a trillion bucks a year), the project would take decades to complete."
When you actually calculate what it takes to switch to renewables, degrowth seems a lot more reasonable.

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